Hollywood

Kid-friendly St. Patrick's Day Celebrations: Parades, Parties, and Leprechauns in LA

Here comes Saint Patrick's Day; time to brush up the Irish brogue for the one time per year (unless you're really Irish) that you use it. The holiday falls on a Saturday this year, which makes for a weekend of celebrating with paradesfestivals, and corned beef. So top o' the marnin' to ye; Erin Go Bragh; that shade of green looks bonny on you, and let's go find that pot o' gold!

Spring Break Camps: 14 Kinds of Vacation Fun for LA Kids

Spring Break around Los Angeles is a moving feast; some districts have one week, and some have two. Some take vacation in March, and some in April. Add to the mix the complications of Easter, Passover, and parent work schedules, and Spring Break camp can be a tough knot to untie. Whether your family needs two weeks full time or a day here and there, we've chosen a few of our favorites that run the gamut. From the Valley to the sea, surfing to soccer, we think you'll find something worthy of a few days away from school among the camps below.

And if you're so on the ball that spring is already covered and you've moved on to summer, check out some of our favorite art, cooking, horse, and classic outdoorsy camps in our Summer and Vacation Camp Guide!

What's Purim and Why All these Carnivals and Festivals?

Not too sure what Purim is? Imagine something between Hebrew Halloween and Middle Eastern Mardi Gras, and you'll more or less have it. Jewish families know Purim as a time of uncharacteristically raucous rabbinical revelry, marked by costumes, noisemakers, interactive storytelling, triangular pastries, and enough drink (for the grown-ups) to muddy the lines between good and evil. Gentile families generally don't know it at all. But Purim is worth knowing. Its story has all the best elements: a party-hearty king, a beautiful and courageous queen, a resourceful good guy, and a bad guy so hateful that everyone drowns out his name with noisemakers at carnivals all over town. Check out one of the events below for classic Purim carnival activities, costume parades, and boisterous retellings of the Purim story.

And if you know of a celebration we've missed, please let us know!

These Bakeries Make the Best Birthday Cakes in Los Angeles

"Good things come in small packages" - or so my mother told me. And though she's always right, I'd argue that good things from bakeries come in large packages: as in, I'd take a whole cake over a cupcake any day, wouldn't you? If your little guy or gal has a birthday on the horizon, have a look at our long list of delectable bakery possibilities below, including vegan and gluten-free options. And just a heads up: though we've all been told that "good things come to those who wait," don't feel you must wait for a birthday to take home a confection! Oh go ahead, let them eat cake!

Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebrations that Are Great for Kids

In New Orleans, it's Mardi Gras. In Venice, Italy, it's Carnevale. In Austria they call it Fasching, and in England Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, or just plain old Fat Tuesday. Whatever the name, it's a party; and with its traditions of masks, music, and bling, this party deserves to be shared with kids. We've collected LA's most family-friendly Mardi Gras celebrations below, and they're mostly FREE. Let the good times roll!

37 Family Shows You'll Want To Plan Ahead To Catch in 2018

We live in the world capital of the entertainment industry, so when it comes to any kind of shows, especially the ones the whole family can enjoy, there's really no shortage of options. From musicals, concerts, and plays to high energy sports shows and performances, there is something exciting to see every month this year. The key is to know when.

Currently playing at Pantages is the hit Broadway musical Disney's Aladdin told through songs from the movie and new music — Genie-us! Other classic fairytales are sure to delight audiences this summer: The Sleeping Beauty comes to life through a ballet; the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Cinderella features beloved songs and new twists, and a much-anticipated musical production is presenting Beauty and The Beast through a new retelling. 

The ultimate live music experience arrives with Disney Junior Dance Party on Tour, and cartoon character favorites Peppa Pig, Daniel Tiger, and Paw Patrol are also touring through with interactive shows. Speaking of superstars, Dancing With the Stars' Light Up the Night Tour brings many of the professional dancers from ABC's eponymous hit show, while fresh off the Winter Olympics, the champions of the US figure skating team give a golden performance in Stars on Ice.

All this, and Cirque du Soleil's Luzia is still in the Southland until March. There are many more incredible shows not to be missed. Make sure to check our calendar, and add them directly to your own! 

LA's Newest Preschools: 9 Schools To Check Out Before Everyone Else Finds Them

Choosing a preschool is no small feat, especially in LA where there are so many options. From Montessori to Reggio and from nature-based to play-based, each preschool offers educational methods as varied as the colors of the rainbow. Of course, another thing most schools offer is waiting lists, so it's great to get in ahead of the curve on new preschools, before everyone else in town figures out how great they are. The nine schools below are all new to the scene, and all worth checking out!

Perfect Spots for Your LA Baby's First Birthday

Congratulations! You made it through baby’s first year, and now it’s time to celebrate. If you’re like me and totally not into hosting your child’s first birthday party at home (read: cleaning, shopping, cooking, decorating, hosting...cleaning again), don't worry. The weather in LA is so beautiful that outdoor birthdays are possible nearly any time of year. If that's not your speed, the Southland boasts plenty of awesome indoor options as well. Here are ten great spots—from pricey to free with one surprise at the end—to smash a cake and tire out the kiddos so everyone can go home and take a well-deserved nap.

10 Acting Summer Camps in LA and OC

This is LA, so of course there are summer acting camps! And since there are different types of acting - stage acting (classical and modern), film acting, comedic acting, improv - there are also different types of acting camp. Acting camps are not just for children who want to study theater, though; they also increase public speaking skills and build self-confidence. If your child is new to the world of drama, a camp that covers many different topics can offer a solid foundation and allow your child to discovers strengths and interests. Other camps offer focused concentration on Shakespeare or acting for film, for example.

Though many of these camps offer some instruction in singing and dancing, be sure to see our Musical Theatre Camp Round-Up for those kids who enjoy Broadway-style performance. And for your other kid - the non-dramatic one - we have a bunch of other summer camps to suggest, too!

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